Philadelphia artist Thomas Vance is influenced by the visual relationships between architecture and nature, particularly landscape design where nature and the built environment coexist in a planned composition. Vance uses a combination of techniques including painting, drawing, and sculpture to create forms based on his personal observations.
Vance is also influenced by Japanese culture, especially the aesthetic practice of sculpting trees known as niwaki, a Japanese word meaning "garden trees." Niwaki is the art of pruning to both enhance the natural characteristics of the tree as well as create beautiful sculptural forms. One familiar technique is cloud pruning where the greenery is shaped into bulbous, cloud-like orbs.