Art of love: Renee Dion and Eric Jefferson

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
From the February 14, 2013 edition

They knew it could be love all because of a Popsicle.

Renee Dion and Eric Jefferson met at the now-closed Urban Spirit coffee shop, a popular hangout for artists in the King Lincoln District.

Dion, a soul, jazz and R&B singer (she sings with the band The Liquid Crystal Project), had just moved to Columbus from L.A. and had a gig at Urban Spirit later that day. She hung out with her new acquaintance Jefferson but didn’t tell him she was performing soon. When she bought a Popsicle, she bought him one, too, and cut off the top of the treat as was her custom — and, oddly enough, his.

The Popsicle habit set him up and Dion’s singing knocked him out. He was hooked.

A few dates in, Jefferson finally let Dion see his creative side, his emotional and shadow-rich oil portraits of influential artists.

“When I saw his artwork, I was blown away,” Dion said. “That was when it all connected for me.”

Their love of their mediums has deepened their love of each other, the couple said. Dating a creative person means your partner understands why having love isn’t always enough because they need to create, too, Jefferson said.

“He’s very pensive when he doesn’t paint,” Dion said. “He doesn’t feel whole, he’s emotionally missing something.”

The pair has also helped one another branch out in their individual artwork.

“She likes to push the boundaries,” Jefferson said. “She’ll say, it looks good, let me see what else you can do.”

He’s recently started painting more abstract art, expressing a new message through his work, one he didn’t know he really had to tell until Dion’s creative sense helped work it out of him. Dion also feels challenged to create new and different music, motivated by Jefferson’s unconditional support and process; his slow and methodical approach to making a painting has inspired her to slow down her songwriting and move beyond freestyling lyrics and music.

A joint show at Method Gallery later this year will showcase their new art and music together, and Dion is recording new music now, but those are not the best expressions of their love they’ll commit to this year.

Dion and Jefferson are getting married in November. No word on whether Popsicles will be served.