I've been looking at fences and stairs lately. Both add a cluster of visual interest to a painting - a little flurry of horizontal or vertical lines can drive an entire piece. I go for walks around Uptown Saint John with my camera a couple times a week looking for ideas. A good staircase or fence will form the basis for a composition, then I work out the details at the studio.
On an unrelated note, I just finished reading (and watching) Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, andI've been contemplating the similarities between Milton and Saint John, both industrial towns. And then on Mecklenburg I saw these berries and this iron fence, and thought, Margaret (or maybe Gaskell) would approve. Little bits of beauty in this rough-and-tumble place.
Also on Mecklenburg. This eerie place. That one is straight out of Victorian Gothic horror.