Parametric surface (helicoid) with UV displacement sculpting
The work I do in Blender is almost always abstract with a mathematical basis. I like to use repetition with variation, generating complex structures from simple rules.
I often get sidetracked into writing tools for this procedural based approach and am currently working with the Sverchok addon that uses nodes to produce geometry in a parametric way. More images for that later.
In this image a simple cube was dupliverted onto a plane with a displacement modifier.
The coloring for the buildings in this city scape were taken from a photo of alpine plants and applied to the duplicated blocks using the object info node and the image texture node following the technique described here.
This image also uses dupliverts to position the peg shaped object around a twisted torus. The coloring is also based on the Object Info node but this time the location info of each peg is turned into the distance from the origin and fed into a custom color ramp. The basic idea can be seen in the last torus example on this post.