The Lone Musk Ox took nearly two years to plan. The Hoth-like landscape originally featured a vulture sitting on a twisted tree behind the musk ox. However, the additional animal and foliage distracted from the focus of the composition and were eventually removed before painting began.
Like Land Unfulfilled and Cadillac Bay, ruins and abandoned structures were an important source of inspiration for this piece. An abandoned Soviet military base became the key element in finally completing the painting.