Too much garlic! Too much oregano! Different for every person, you say? OK, how about technique? Is too much technique subjective like too much garlic or oregano? For which art forms can you have or use too much? For which art forms is there no such thing as "too much"?
I've heard people say things like "...if I notice a writer's technique it distracts me from the story..." But writing technique comes in many shades so, which type of technique is it that distracts? Too much dialogue? Too much exposition? Too much descriptive or metaphorical language? Or... are there too little of any of those (or other) techniques on display? Same idea, different medium. If you're engrossed in but then suddenly notice you're watching a movie because of technique (think of Alfred Hitchcock or the Coen Brothers), has that technique gotten in the way? Too much garlic?
An often re-told anecdote describes Duke Ellington's reaction to a pianist with dazzling technique. Duke was heard to say - "My, you play a lot of notes!"; supposedly the pianist didn't realize he'd been insulted. I've played with people with dazzling technique. Putting the Duke's bon mot aside, I've yet to hear anything except compliments paid to those musicians. So, how much technique is too much for a musician? How often have you said to yourself "he's so fast, I'm distracted?" Ever heard the expression "she was chewing up the scenery" to indicate an over-use of technique in acting? What equivalent expression have you heard or used for a musician? How about for a photographer? Visual Artist?
Lots of questions today. I'll weigh in when I get a reaction or two. Got jazz guitarist Joe Pass on my mind.