Smith was attracted to paint texture and pattern as a young
artist, seeking out a broad spectrum of European influences such
as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Seurat. Raised in a family of
musicians, Smith was especially attracted to Kandinsky's
association of art and music through abstraction. By working on
several pieces simultaneously, Smith combines disjointed rhythms
and syncopated patterns of paint and mixed media by sewing the
canvas together, using a sewing machine–though he does not
deny the process's or end product's resemblance to quilt-making.
Smith insists that the process comes out of necessity to
sturdily adhere fabric together. Improvisation from a Patch
Quilt is a colorful example of his assemblages. Bright
zigzag stitching joins colorful patches of painted patterns and
found objects. Smith's work simultaneously pays homage to his
African heritage and African art education while serving as a
vehicle for his own challenges as a contemporary abstract artist.