From 1959 to 1963, when Dwayne Hickman starred in the CBS situation comedy "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," Hickman's fresh, young face was as recognizable as that of David Letterman or CSI's Marg Helgenberger. With co-star Bob Denver, later of "Gilligan's Island" fame, as the beatnik Maynard G. Krebs, Hickman's show is forever etched into the memories of Baby Boomers.

But as Hickman carved out careers in acting and later TV show producing, he privately found immense satisfaction in another creative endeavor: painting. Creating on an artist's canvas, in fact, became an even more creatively intimate activity for the Loyola Marymount University educated actor.

"Both are a creative process," says Hickman. "Art, however, allows me to be totally control of what I choose to create."

Life as a network executive, however, forced Hickman to put down his paintbrush. Around 15 years ago, after supervising TV's "Maude," "M*A*S*H" and "Designing Women," he returned to his love.

As an artist, Hickman's interest of architecture shows in his oil paintings, which have been shown in galleries across the country. His works are colorful, bright and without gloom. His upbeat style is perhaps most evident in his house and landscape series.

A veritable feast for the eyes, "The House in the Meadow" features yellow, red and blue flowers that almost reach out and touch the viewer. "The Farmhouse" features an inviting scene of trees, green grass and a quaint, white two-story home.

Hickman's favorites are "The Bluebonnets," which is a symphony of blue and white flowers under an equally azure sky, and "Anacapa Island," which features a solitary lighthouse standing proudly over a field of green and yellow.

Despite Hickman's surprisingly successful post-TV career as a painter, he is sometimes tempted to discard a work like unwanted film celluloid on a cutting-room floor.

"I am never totally satisfied. I always want to make it better."

Identified by many as a beat-era or early 1960s icon, is his art influenced by that unique period in history?

"No," he says. "I think I am more influenced by [Andrew] Wyeth and [Edward] Hopper, and, of course, Vincent [Van Gogh)."

On Friday, Aug. 10 and Saturday, Aug. 11, Hickman will bring his one-man art show, featuring his oils on canvas and limited-edition canvas prints to Big Bear Lake's Wildwood Gallery. Friday's event features a VIP cocktail reception from 6 to 10 p.m. with Saturday's public event running from noon to 5 p.m.

Wildwood Gallery is located at 40794 Village Drive, Big Bear Lake in the heart of the Village directly across from the Village Theatres. For more information, call (866) 866-2464.