He was a student at the Academy of Arts in Rotterdam before working as a lithographer for the Dutch Colonial Army in the Dutch Indies prior to the Second World War. He became a citizen to the newly independent Indonesia and produced as well as taught at the Bandung Institute of Technology. Later he moved to Bali in 1956 to engage full time in painting. Much of Smits repertoire explores the natural environs and architectural heritage of his adopted home. He has had several one man exhibitions at venues including the Bandung Institute of Technology and the Honolulu East West Center.