I would find these old paintings and prints and bring them back to studio, initially collecting them for their frames alone. It's amazing what people throw away in a city like New York.
At first, I started simply reacting to these images as if each was the backdrop and someone had removed the action. I began "completing" them, reinserting an imagine center point of the painting. It was only after several of them that I realized they all had a theme in common, that on each I had painting the aftermath of some disaster or other.