I, too, ebbed and flowed in my opinion and admiration of his art. I feel his best work was before he used photos as reference and then many years later, when his work became a bit more impressionistic, or at least brushier. I disliked most of his story-telling paintings, but liked his paintings that illustrated text stories. But always he had his moments. I hadn't seen these two self-portraits until recently, but I really like them. And I'm suckered in by anything that refers to adventure, and then his watercolor of a Paris bridge makes me hunger for anything else he did in that style or medium.
The fact is that just because we admire a person and their work doesn't mean we have to admire or like everything that person has ever done. As I get older, that's how it is with many of my artist heroes. I (metaphorically) hold on to what I really like and give the rest back to the world. Then I build (metaphorically) my own little museum, somewhat like I'm doing with this blog.