The works of Araceli Dans invite comparisons with the great 19th century British watercolorists Ruskin, Cotmam and even Turner whom she particularly admires. Despite the parallels drawn between Dans and the noted watercolorists, she is quick to point out that her pictures break all the rules of watercolor painting, she works into the painting quite heavily, at times with several layers of almost opaque paint hence the rich black backgrounds for which she is noted.
Dans demonstrates an unassailable fidelity to nature in the realist tradition. Her close study of banal objects would give the viewer access to universal truths.
The high degree of finish and technical virtuosity which mark the work of Araceli Dans is matched by her mastery over white. Perhaps, her most iconic works are her masterful depictions of calados, intricate white patterned embroidery on pineapple fiber, often associated with 19th century Filipina sophisticates.
The delicate, white lace in the painting is the result of painstaking effort and skill. Proof of the intense interaction between the hand, eye and the mind can be seen in the exquisite draftsmanship displayed in a Dans painting. The high degree of detail in the work is a testament to the uncompromising eye whose intense scrutiny of objects allows for nothing to be out of place. It would be so easy for paintings to lapse into banality in the hands of a lesser painter, thus it’s a tribute to Dans’ unerring eye that this never occurs in her work.